Memphis. My all-time favorite region when it comes to stupid gimmicks. I can’t even begin to count all the times I’ve attributed the asinine stuff Jerry Lawler and other bookers in that area have come up with massive intakes of drugs. But, for the most part, the Memphis was usually at least…well, original. This is, after all, the area that gave us Kamala and Ta-Gar, Lord of the Volcano.
And then there’s this yahoo.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they say, but this was an out and out rip-off of a certain WWF wrestler who was popular at the time. And no, I’m not talking about Tatanka. Arriving in Memphis, the Gravedigger lasted about as long as a bag of Doritos in Dusty Rhodes’ house. Heck, he didn’t even win a title while he was there, and for someone wrestling in Memphis, that’s really saying something. Managed by the ever-annoying Nate the Rat (a guy who made Harvey Wippleman look like Chris Masters, Brad Pitt and JFK rolled into one), ‘Digger showed up, started a feud with Jeff Jarrett and then went on the MIA list. Oh, and since he didn’t possess the real powers of the real Undertaker, he had to settle for a flame thrower when trying to barbecue Jarrett.
If Calloway really was dead, he would have been rolling in his grave.
Not too long after this bozo had his cup of coffee, the USWA entered a relationship with the WWF, and the real Phenom was brought in a few times. Would have been funnier if they’d sent Brian “Underfaker” Lee down instead.
So what became of the Gravedigger? Apparently, if this is correct, he went on to become Demolition Blast, teaming with Ax on the indie circuit before he got busted for vehicular fraud. But who knows. After all, while this is the only Gravedigger that outright stole Undertaker’s gimmick, there were and are a few hundred other guys who’ve used the same name in the business. Hell, Memphis even reworked the gimmick years later.
Oh well. At least they didn’t try to rip off Sting.